If you have been following along in our journey of the Stone House, then you might have noticed that I have a love of vintage things - in particular, vintage linens and dishes..... ok, furniture too.
My love of fine old things came from my grandmothers. As a young girl, I remember playing dress-up with old hats, shoes, pearls, and bright red lipstick. But my favorite dress-up accessory was my grandmother’s aprons. Both my grandmother Vern and Virginia had aprons, and as the years progressed my grandmother, Vern started wearing smock aprons.
I also remember going to church with my grandmother, Virginia, and helping out the church ladies in the kitchen. I loved watching them meander about the kitchen in their aprons. My other favorite memory as a child was my grandmother’s handkerchief. She always kept a clean one in her purse, and whenever she would pull it out it always smelled like Dentyne gum.
They both always had beautiful tablecloths and little lace doilies everywhere. My fingers still remember the feel of the starch in them to this day.
Over the past year, I have been gifted with some beautiful things to use here at the Inn. Guests and local community members have bestowed some wonderful things to me, all with a story. My intention for every gift is to bring it back to life and to use it in the way that it was intended to be used, and most importantly, to enjoy it.
Today, I was gifted with some very special gifts that belonged to Jane Christie, past resident and caretaker of The Stone House. At the urging of Jane’s daughter Mary, Jane's daughter-in-law Marcia came bearing gifts of old linens. The family chose their favorites, but there were still many left that needed a home. As I opened them, tears of joy fell. They were some of the most beautiful pieces of cloth and craft that I had ever seen.
Some of the vintage linens that Marcia brought were designed to outfit card tables for Jane’s Ladies Bridge Club. These tablecloths and napkins feature intricately embroidered black, red and white Scottie dogs and card suits.
I can imagine the ladies sitting at a beautifully set card table enjoying an afternoon of Bridge. I am sure that there were hours of Bridge played within these walls, and another thing that I am sure of is that the Bridge table was decked out to the nines with these beautifully hand-crafted gems.
My own family had a Saturday night Poker ritual, or it was Gin Rummy or a game of Tripoli, or of course, Euchre. Playing Bridge was not something that I learned, but now I find myself having a great desire to if maybe only to utilize those gifted linens. I, like everyone else, am looking for the days of the pandemic to be over so we can all sit across the table and play a game or two of cards.
Today at the Inn, I set the table. If you are a guest for a meal, you will always find the table decked out in what I would like to think is close to Mrs. Jane Christie’s style. At the Inns at 8th & Main, you’ll always find cloth napkins and fine vintage plates adorning the table.
Just like The Stone House, beautiful things are meant to be used and shared. I know that I feel just as proud ushering in our guests as Miss Jane must have when she invited the ladies in for an afternoon of refreshments and cards.
To the Christie Family, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for gifting us with these beautiful treasures. I know that our guests will love the linens as well as hearing the stories of Jane Christie and her bridge-playing friends.
And yes Mary and Marcia, they truly are home. XO
- Innkeeper Amy
Now that we have breakfast mastered at The Inns at 8th & Main, we are moving on to some light dinner offerings. We are taking our amenities to a whole new level by offering dinner options for our overnight guests, and sometimes for the public too. You will be able to feast on a hearty homestyle breakfast in the morning, and then finish your day with a scrumptious dinner. Of course, no dinner is complete without a homemade dessert by me.
Fall and Winter, we will treat you to a filing loaf and ladle meal. You will have your pick of a hot soup or chili, with a tasty accompaniment, and finish it off with a delectable dessert.
Spring and Summer, we will treat you to a relaxing steak dinner, where you are your own chef, all from the comfort of the Inn’s back patio. Have fun grilling your steaks to your personal liking on a readied charcoal grill and enjoy the other dinner accompaniments and dessert prepared and served by your favorite innkeepers.
In addition to these packages, we will be adding some special add-ons that have been carefully curated to enhance your experience while staying with us here at The Inns at 8th and Main. Our goal is to tailor your getaway experience to spark romance or just allow you the time to relax.
So before booking, be sure to check out our Experience Package offerings on our website, or call Amy at 740-651-5198 for more information or to arrange something a little extra special.
We are also looking forward to opening the Inn up to the public for dinner events and tours. These events and gatherings will mainly be through the week when guests are at a minimum. Be sure to watch our Experience Events page on our website for upcoming events and dates.
- Innkeeper Amy
Wow! It’s been a whirlwind around here. Our four-year-old granddaughter has been visiting us from Alabama. She is growing up quickly, and each time she visits we see glimpses of what the older Adeline is starting to look like. Knowing how quickly my boys grew up, with each visit it saddens me to know that the next time she comes, she will be a bit bigger and more grown-up.
With this visit, she brought me the gift of a cold. That’s alright, I would not miss those little hands pressing my cheeks together for a kiss for anything. I will admit that getting a cold in the middle of a pandemic is a bit scary. I have routinely checked my temperature, as well as my sense of taste and smell. I'm also experiencing the Quarantine 15. Or, it could be the holidays starting to add up, take your pick.
I have really enjoyed the #BNB12DaysofChristmas2020 that we have been running on both our Facebook and Instagram accounts in conjunction with other Bed & Breakfasts across the country. It has given us the opportunity to see more of our fellow innkeepers’ properties and what they have to offer. Dan and I look forward to visiting a few of them as well in 2021. A lot of work and creativity has gone into these postings, and I cannot take the credit for it.
With all that has been going on, I really want to take this opportunity and introduce an important part of our team. Without her, our social media, website, and marketing efforts would be lacking for sure. April Nichols is a dear friend of mine who joined our team a few months ago. She and I used to work together in the hospitality industry, and she helped me through a lot of projects. Together we created some awesome spaces.
All of the fancy posts that you see, along with the beautifully cropped photos, and the crafty words are all her. I pop in in the mornings and shoot her with a few grand ideas that I dreamed up, like the 12 days of Christmas, and she runs with it. I know she hates hearing the words “April, I have an idea” come out of my mouth, but she normally giggles and takes it in stride.
She also helps us with our other businesses as well, and she is a great asset to our team. She makes us look and feel polished, and she allows Dan and me to focus on many other things that we have going on in our busy lives. I do not know how we have gotten along for as long as we have without her.
So friends, when you see all of the pretties that we have on our website, our social media, and our printed items, know that it takes a team to do all that we do and that April is a key player on that team. Also, you will be seeing some blog posts written by her too in the near future.
Happy Holidays Friends! Like everyone else, we are looking forward to a healthy and prosperous 2021.
Last Saturday Dan and I did something that we haven’t done for quite some time. We took a day and went on a local adventure that included boutique shopping and fine dining.
When we share with people where we live, a lot of people will respond with, “all the way down there”. What they don’t understand is that in 45 minutes, you can be in some amazing small towns and villages. Along the way, you will see some of the most beautiful Appalachian countryside as an added bonus.
As I write this, I am trying to remember the last time that I was on a major 4 lane highway. Honestly, I can’t remember.
Morgan County is small. It is one of the smallest counties by population ranking at #85 out of the 88 counties in our great state of Ohio. However, our county neighbors a few of the larger counties in our state which makes Morgan County a great home base and central to a lot to see and do.
So last Saturday we ventured over into neighboring Perry County and spent the day in historic Somerset. Like McConnesville, Somerset has a beautiful downtown square with a few unique restaurants and stores. It is SO worth the drive.
As you know, we are big social media buffs, and we are blessed with a few good friends in Perry County. Lately, we have been seeing a lot of buzz online about a new shop and restaurant located in the heart of town - a french restaurant, and a second-hand western shop. It got our attention. Well, perhaps it was the thought of baked brie and wine, but do not hold that against us.
After checking in with our weekend guests and making sure that they were well cared for, off we went, traveling those back country roads into Perry County. Our first stop was for food. Of course, one can’t shop hangry. At least this girl can’t.
Our goal was to shop, and eat at three local restaurants for the day. Not only were we trying to fill our bellies, but also help support small local businesses who need all of our help now more than ever.
We landed in town around 11:30 am, and it had to be 5’oclock somewhere. We thought a glass of wine and appetizers would fit the bill for this stop, and the new Epicerie et les fleurs did not disappoint.
Epicerie is located right off of the square on Main Street. It’s a vibrant looking building with a very charming and rustic feel on the inside. They even have enclosed outside seating with heaters for cooler days. For this day, we chose inside for the rustic appeal. Mismatched chairs and tables combined with hardwood floors and wood beams gave such a cozy feel. I am sad to say that we were so focused on the food that I totally forgot to take interior photos.
We stop dead in our tracks for a good brie. We found that and then some with baked brie topped with fig jam, a side of scrumptious olive tapenade coupled with amazing bruschetta, and crusty french bread. All of this was nicely complemented with a wonderful suggestion of good Pinot Noir.
As we scoured their menu, we drooled over their homemade dessert listing. Remember, we were on a mission to visit three restaurants. With shopping to do, time in between meals would be short so we had to skip the dessert this time and get our retail therapy on. We know that we will be returning to Epicerie.
Then it was off to our second stop of the day, Mid Western Second Hand. This carefully curated second-hand shop was just perfect. I did snap quite a few photos in this tastefully decorated boutique. The wool blankets might have had me drooling, but the selection of fine second hand, name brand denim jeans and shirts made my heart stop. Not to mention, the pricing is good too.
We both picked up some jeans, and I snagged a Woolrich flannel for the upcoming winter months. My favorite by far was a holiday gift that I secured for a certain family member. I so wish I could divulge, but I promise to share it when the time is right.
From Mid Western we ventured over to the unique shop of Gypsy Hawaii Boutique. Here, they feature a variety of local artists’ wares including handmade jewelry, original paintings, artisan tie-dyes, crystals and so much more. We picked up a couple of cute little handmade gifts for our two youngest grandchildren. Definitely a shop worth the stop.
We also popped into the Antique store and browsed their floors. We are always on the look out for unique items for the Inns at 8th & Main.
After an afternoon of traipsing around the square, we popped in to Strong and Company for a beer, an appetizer and the end of the OSU game. This family owned and operated restaurant was a great stop to rest our feet and prepare for our next meal.
Our final meal of the day was from the historic Clay Haus serving the Somerset area with fine German inspired and American cuisine since 1978. They tag themselves as the “Little country cookery with German influences”. Homemade potato cakes and fine prime rib coupled nicely with a red blend wine. We finished with coffee and a fresh baked cream puff. It was a meal fit for a King and Queen.
The Clay Haus is much like the Stone House. It is an old, historic building of the 1800's. It was built by a cousin of President Andrew Jackson. The president himself was a visitor there.
Overall, it was a successful day out supporting neighboring local businesses. We are so happy that we took the time out for this day trip. It again, reminds us that our home, the Inns at 8th and Main, is the perfect place to call home base for a few days - the perfect place to lay your head with close proximity to first-rate shopping and dining.
It’s a rainy Sunday morning here in Southeastern Ohio as we sit in the living room with our morning coffee listening to the sounds of guests meandering about their rooms. It’s odd because we were getting in quite the rhythm of our weekend breakfast routine. We traditionally serve a full, gourmet breakfast in our dining room every weekend morning, but it’s time to pivot back to a more safe and restricted routine for not only our guests, but ourselves as well.
We have always maintained a safe, clean environment here at the Inns at 8th and Main from cleanliness, to our interactions with our guests, as well as their interactions with other guests. Unfortunately, like everywhere now, time calls for a more stringent routine here at the Inns at 8th & Main.
Last weekend we started going back to our delicious in-room gourmet, continental- style breakfast just to be a little more cautious. From my homemade muffins, cookies, and specialty yogurt, to fresh fruit and orange juice, all are nicely stocked in the room prior to our guests' arrival. Let’s not forget our in-room gourmet coffee from Tayst Coffee too. It may not be the sit down, dining room style breakfast we so enjoy serving, but it's still a breakfast made with care and will satisfy any traveler.
Nothing has changed on the cleaning front though. We still clean and disinfect like mad and will continue to do so long past COVID. In between guests, all rooms and private baths are aired out and scoured, and all linens, including shower curtains and mattress covers, and bed spreads, are removed, changed out and washed for each new guest. Door knobs, remotes and other high traffic surfaces are also cleaned and disinfected.
In addition to our normal extensive cleaning regime, we have implemented extra measures to keep our guests as safe as possible:
* We use Eco-friendly disinfectant cleaner throughout our home as approved by CDC guidelines
* Public areas are being cleaned multiple times during the day
* All common door handles are regularly disinfected
* Antiseptic wipes are provided in each guest room
* Hand sanitizer spray bottles are located throughout the property
We do all of this with care and love. Because even in these rough times, we want our guests to feel not only safe, but spoiled and pampered. This is another reason that we encourage you to #bookdirect. By having a conversation with you prior to your stay, this helps dissipate any concerns that you may have staying with us. In addition, we social distance and limit all interaction, and if requested, provide you with a faceless, touchless check in.
All of these things are easily accomplished because we are small. With only three guest rooms, all with private bathrooms, private halls and entrances, large groups or crowds are easily avoided. Another nice thing is that you can easily rent the whole house, and ensure that your family bubble stays safe.
Further, we currently are not accepting any reservations for first floor events. There is no doubt that these are challenging times, but we feel that we must make the health and welfare of our guests and staff as our top priority and that is why we have decided to hold off on all events.
When staying at our family-owned bed and breakfast, remember that health and safety is just as important to us. This is our livelihood and home, and we want to stay just as safe as you. We do all of this with love and care, and in hopes that when the time comes, and life takes on its new normal, that you will come back and visit us for the full MoCo experience.
We hope you Stay Small. Stay safe. Stay Inn. And remember to #experiencemoco!
- Innkeeper Amy
Welcome to my first blog post. It seems appropriate that I release it now, as we come upon the one year anniversary of the start of the restoration of the Stone House.
I know most of you will agree with me that 2020 has been some kind of a year. However, as I walk through the halls and rooms of the Stone House, I am reminded of all the things that we have accomplished in this past year, the strangest of times.
Dan and I started taking on limited guests in June and now every weekend the house is booked with three rooms fully open and operational. Our list of little things is long but hard to tackle with guests underfoot. So for now we do what we can, and we wait for slower times. Our main focus is to spoil our guests, and from the feedback, we seem to be doing a great job of that.
We are always on hand to greet our guests and show them around on arrival. I love hearing from them that the pictures that they have seen on social media or our website do not do the house justice. It truly needs to be seen and experienced first hand.
From all the little details that we have put into the rooms, the amenities, as well as the common areas, we truly have curated a space that encourages one to relax, enjoy, and create memories with their loved ones. So often life gets in the way of doing just that, but here at The Inns at 8th and Main, we give our guests the opportunity to slow down and enjoy the simple pleasures of a few days away from the real world - a place to reconnect with those who matter most.
A favorite of ours has become breakfast. Together, Dan and I prepare simple foods that warm not only the palate but the heart too. We set the table in fine old linens and dishes of yesterday’s past, and we pamper our guests by serving them and encouraging them to savor these morning minutes.
Full breakfast gatherings are a rarity in today’s modern world, but here at the Inn it’s a reminder that a nice morning meal can set the tone for a beautiful day. It’s also an experience that is long remembered after one departs and these savored memories brings guests back to the Inn, and usually with an additional friend.
If you ask any of the guests that have stayed with us this past year, I am pretty confident that they will agree that it is a grand experience here at the Inn and that no matter where you live, near or far, you will not want to miss an opportunity to stay at the Inns at 8th and Main.
Here is a little breakfast recipe that we tried out this past weekend, and with the holiday season upon us, cranberries are in abundance. Remember, you can always freeze a bag or two and have these delectable Orange Cranberry Muffins year-round.
From the Recipe Box at the Inns of 8th & Main